Are we in the midst of a New American Revolution? The first was to gain independence from the British Empire. Is the second to regain the liberties we’ve lost under our own government? Are most of us even aware of liberties we have lost? Living day to day trying to survive without regard to the larger events happening behind the scene that shape our lives seems to be the general consensus of the public today. Our only source of information is the corporate owned media who many claim skew that information to meet their own needs in swaying public perception on important issues. According to Reporters Without Borders “the United States was ranked as having the fifty-third freest press in the world, tied with Botswana and Croatia” (http://en.rsf.org). Wow!
What prompted me to think about all this, was my own experience with protesting Ohio Senate Bill 5. In my previous post I described my experience at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio on February 22, 2011. It was the change in rhetoric between that protest and the event held on March 1, 2011 on the Statehouse lawn that really made me think about the world around me. Within the span of just one week the conversation changed from saving public sector unions to a call for revolution. The call for the oppressed middle class (proletariat) to rise up came from a Latino man who spoke at the March 1st rally after pledging the support of the entire Ohio Latino community towards our cause. I was more than just a little disturbed/concerned. Could this really be happening?
After listening to the passion in that Latino man’s speech, I decided to do more research. In an article entitled “Massive Austerity Budgets are Destroying America, While the Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Suffers” by Kevin Zeese, he notes that “in the Midwest as unions shrunk, good manufacturing jobs fled and were replaced by poor paying service economy jobs” (http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23452), thus lowering the standard of living amongst the middle class.
What I don’t understand is why anyone would want the middle class to shrink? When big companies lobby our government officials to take away workers rights, doesn’t that only create a temporary increase in profits for those companies? The middle class of the US pay the majority of taxes to support programs for the poor, keep our infrastructure in tact, etc. The middle class also purchases the majority of all goods and services creating and sustaining the rich. Regardless, it is clear that the middle class is indeed shrinking and has been for quite some time as explained in an academic lecture by Elizabeth Warren at http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23452. I also recommend her book The Two Income Trap. Perhaps a shrinking middle class may explain why our infrastructure is failing, (http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-28/us/infrastructure.report.card_1_drinking-water-infrastructure-aging?_s=PM:US), our public schools are failing (http://reason.com/archives/2006/01/13/stupid-in-america), etc.
What can we do about all this? The first thing we must do is educate ourselves by seeking out reputable, confirmable information beyond our own mainstream media. Read newspapers from all over the world. Read academic studies on everything you can. We can’t take action until we are informed. Could that lead to revolution? Perhaps, but what is revolution? Does it have to be violent? Is it possible to have a peaceful revolution?
Here are some links I found useful:
http://www.independent.ie/ – the Irish “Independent” newspaper homepage
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post//?source=dompost – New Zealand “Dominion Post” newspaper homepage
http://www.wimp.com/immigrationpoverty/ – presentation on world poverty and immigration
http://www.storyofstuff.com/ – presentations about the “stuff” we purchase
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U – presentation on education paradigms
Documentaries: “The Future of Food,” “Food, Inc.,” “The Corporation,” “The End of America,” “Sicko,” “Maxed Out”
Books: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America by Charlotte Iserbyt, Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Gatto, Death by Supermarket: The Fattening, Dumbing Down, and Poisoning of America by Nancy Deville, Nickle and Dimed or (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Of course, we must sift through this information and investigate what is truth and what is not. I invite you all to share any additional resources or comments.
UPCOMING PROJECT BEGINNING IMMEDIATELY: I will be removing myself from all public venues as well as disconnecting from all electronics (except for those necessary for school) for the next month or so, in order to reflect on my life and take care of some personal issues that have been building. Yes, Folks, I’ll be pulling a Thoreau and writing about the experience just as he did.